Fresno Mayor Lee Brand announced a state of emergency for the City of Fresno on Monday, following the lead of the County of Fresno and the city’s major school districts.
The declaration arrived days after Fresno County Public Health officials confirmed a second case of coronavirus and trailed a closed session emergency meeting of Fresno City Council.
“I believe this is a sensible step to ensure the City of Fresno is in the best position to protect the people of Fresno,” Brand said in a statement.
The declaration enables the city to be eligible for potential state and Federal funding related to coronavirus response.
As part of the declaration, the City of Fresno has prohibited public gatherings of more than 50 people, closed its community centers, and suspended after-school programs and weekend recreation programs.
In the interim, the Brand administration has issued a moratorium on water and garbage pickup shutoffs due to overdue or non-payment.
While it was hinted ahead of Monday’s meeting that the City would suspend evictions, Brand noted in a press conference that Fresno would follow guidelines and mandates from the state.
Monday evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order granting local jurisdictions the authority to stop evictions for homeowners and renters during the period of coronavirus quarantine through the end of May.
The order also slows the process of foreclosure.
Fresno’s business tax payment deadline was postponed until May 1, per the administration.
Following recommendations from the California Office of Emergency Services calling for seniors over the age of 65 to remain at home, Brand announced he would work from home as much as possible.
City employees over the age of 65 were informed Sunday night to remain home, but were still eligible for pay.
City leaders announced a number of key services are being provided online to reduce visits to City Hall. Despite that, City Hall remains open to the public.